August 22, 2018 - Mixed Reality / AR / VR

World’s First University-Based Mixed Reality Accelerator Will Make the Tech Spread Like Wildfire

by Antoni Żółciak
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The business and the academia do get together from time to time. Oftentimes, the result of such collaboration yields fruitsthat would not be possible to achieve in other way.

Now, the time has come for a Mixed Reality accelerator. The initiative is said to help to develop commercial applications for Microsoft HoloLens.

As a University, it’s important for us to not only lead from the front when it comes to cutting-edge technologies but also to look at how those technologies allow us to create ever more skilled and work-ready graduates. What we’ve created marks the first HoloLens accelerator of its kind, giving some of our brightest students the opportunity to work alongside a number of leading brands to help solve real-life problems.

The quote above—by John Hemingway, Director of ICT at the University of Hull—appeared on Forbes just last month.

The program will help a variety of industries to “fast-track the adoption of Mixed Reality and build the participating students towards being experts in this new field of computing.”

The students will work alongside global companies such as Audi.

The Shift Mixed Reality Brings is Going to Be Astronomical

Experts from the field are certain that the results of the shift that Mixed Reality and similar technologies will bring will be significant. It can impact major industries and the way we work. An example of a car engineer of the future was brought up in the Forbes article.

Read also: Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Trends in 2018

It is said that HoloLens can already recognize where—as the engineer approaches the vehicle—the work has to be carried out. In a way, it is similar to Augmented Reality and how it can overlay the world we live in.

Back in March, we also described how—for example—HoloLens can be used to help replace a broken bulb. While it is just a simple illustration of this powerful technology, it does speak volumes to our imagination.

Microsoft Mixed Reality as a Service

Starting this June, HoloLens is now being offered on a subscription basis in Europe. For the past three years—since Microsoft premiered the tech—it has been building partnerships and demonstrating various HoloLens use cases across plenty of industries such as engineering, healthcare, education, and more.

But—as Forbes points out—you can evangelize all you want. It is tough to justify the $3,000 price tag when you are a small business, or sometimes even a mid-sized one. With no clear Return-on-Investment guarantees, companies looked at the HoloLens as nothing more than a novelty. Cool, fun, but not directly tied to an increase in profits.

Now, the adoption should be that much easier. With packages starting at £260 a month, it will be much easier for SMEs to try out if HoloLens might be useful for their individual challenges. And with the 39 markets where the HoloLens is available, 29 of them are located in Europe. It does make perfect sense.

But There Are Already Other Mixed Reality Devices on the Market

Various Mixed Reality devices by Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Samsung, and more

Various Mixed Reality devices by Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Samsung, and more

At the end of last year, Samsung introduced Odyssey headset—a device that is based on Windows Mixed Reality. Since last month, you can order them even if you are in Poland, which in itself is a natural signal of market penetration.

Now, however, the Korean giant is preparing to launch a new generation of Odyssey device—which is yet another positive signal for anyone interested in working with Mixed Reality platform.

However, there is a clear distinction between HoloLens and other headsets. Microsoft’s device is an AR headset, whereas all other Mixed Reality headsets are more VR-based. All of them, however, are a part of the same Mixed Reality platform.

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